Osip Emilevich Mandelstam
Osip Emilevich Mandelstam Poems
What Shall I Do With This Body They Gave Me
What shall I do with this body they gave me,
so much my own, so intimate with me?
For being alive, for the joy of calm breath,
tell me, who should I bless?
I am the flower, and the gardener as well,
and am not solitary, in earth’s cell.
My living warmth, exhaled, you can see,
on the clear glass of eternity.
A pattern set down,
until now, unknown.
This is what I most want
to reach beyond the light
that I am furthest from.
And for you to shine there-
no other happiness-
and learn, from starlight,
what its fire might suggest.